Don’t you just love the holidays? I love when Lifetime and ABC Family and Hallmark all start playing their holiday movies and half of them are about ladies who are frantically and horribly single but find love through the magic of Christmas. The other half are a hodge podge of crap about kids and families, bo-ring! I prefer to focus on the former.
Now you might be thinking to yourself that it’s January and yes, you are correct. From November until Christmas I was working a super busy job (tune into Food Network this spring to see the fruits of my labor!) so I just dvred the cruddy holiday movies but didn’t get to watch many. I still had one left when I got back to NYC so I decided to do a belated holiday entry just because. I hope this one is as amazing as the one I did two years ago: Holiday in Handcuffs.
This movie stars Joey Lawrence but I guess he’s changed because IMDB says “Joseph.” He must be so wise and sophisticated now! My friend Teresa warns that he has just gotten a ton of plastic surgery so we shall see (if I even recognize him).
The movie starts on Thanksgiving Day with some radio DJ saying there are only 28 shopping days until Christmas and they’re going to start playing Christmas music now. Some guy is in the back of a cab maybe breaking up with someone.
Is this Joey Lawrence? If so, I didn’t recognize him (that mystery was solved quickly). That could also be because of age. He’s all “jeez, we have to start the Christmas music already?!!?” when he gets off the phone.
Joey Lawrence is at home for Thanksgiving and his mom is all “you couldn’t have kept this one until Thanksgiving dinner?” as if he has done this break-up before dinner move before. He says this one was high maintenance and some guy in his family is all “she’s a woman, ain’t she.” So funny. Ugh. Anyway, his mom tells that guy he’s a pig and I think it’s his dad. Joey says that he doesn’t know if it’s the pressure of the holidays or what but women see a turkey leg and a Christmas tree and start wondering where their wedding ring is. Really? A turkey leg makes a lady want to get married?
Don’t worry about him though- HE’S FINE! (this baby is dubious)
Also, the Hallmark Channel keeps a running countdown of the days until Christmas in a bright red graphic on the screen which is only proving Joey’s point about the holidays.
His mom offers his chicken parm or eggplant and then jokes that he doesn’t have to make a lifetime commitment, it’s just dinner. Joey Lawrence sounds just like Tony Danza now. His mom made these things in addition to a giant turkey and turkey sides. Is this how Italians do Thanksgiving?
Now we’re at Thanksgiving at some lady’s house and her mom has invited her ex to Thanksgiving dinner (weird) because she thinks her daughter should be married already (subtle).
Daughter says he’s the most boring guy she’s ever met and then we’re at dinner and this guy is just droning on about being a podiatrist and how amazing feet are (ACK! NIGHTMARE!). Wait,this is some guy she dated a long time ago that her mom invited because she broke it off with her fiance last year. Okay, I think I’m caught up on the backstory now. This guy tries to play footsie with her and she chokes on her turkey.
Joey sees his grandma, who is sick, who JUST WANTS TO SEE HIM SETTLE DOWN BEFORE SHE DIES. Hahaha, that is called laying it on thick. Joey lies and tells her that he has met someone and she’s named Rosemary. Grandma is so effing psyched that she’ll know that her favorite grandson isn’t going to die alone. He’s going to bring her for Christmas eve dinner since that is his grandma’s favorite night. He says “this is the woman I’m going to marry” and I’m not sure why since his family knows he dumped his girlfriend like 2 days ago.
I hope that this news is enough to cure his grandma of whatever she’s dying of!
Julie (the lady with the gross foot guy) is at work complaining about her mom setting her up with her ex and saying “I don’t know how I ever dated him.” It’s always so fascinating when you see someone you once cared about and realize they’re the worst person ever.
Her friend is sympathetic. Some guy at work is all “if you don’t have a date by Christmas, I get you, right??” and that is so charming I can’t believe she’s not already dating him.
Joey tells his friend about lying to his grandma and his friend is all “you can find someone, go online.” Joey asks what you search for to hire a person to be your girlfriend and I’m like really? You can’t figure that one out? His friend is all “it’s New York City!… look at the personals.” No one in this movie has heard of craigslist? He could easily hire someone- an out of work actor etc…
Julie’s mom is all “I think foot guy is still into youuuuuu.” Yeah, duh. She also says her friend’s son is going through a divorce so that can be her plan B if the foot guy doesn’t work out. Wait, Julie HAS heard of Craigslist and she’s up there doing just what I suggested above.
Somehow Joey finds it and then replies to her post about needing someone to be her date through the holidays. The scene is now 2 minutes of him staring at the computer, typing. RIVETING.
Hahahhaha, after all that typing he wrote like 1 sentence.
She messages him back asking if he wants to come to her office holiday party on Friday night. The radio DJ talks about how embarrassing it is if you don’t have someone to kiss on new year’s. I have been single for several new year’s eves and I never gave a shit. Ignore this guy!
They go into her office and maybe they should have met for coffee once before this party? I don’t know, I’ve never done this before.
Of course, the gross guy she works with immediately goes up to him and is all “what does this guy have that I don’t have??” and it’s very uncomfortable.
She grabs Joey and kisses him and it’s very weird. Joey seems annoyed that people think he’s her boyfriend but I thought that was the whole deal?
At the bar she orders a diet coke and he orders a vodka tonic AND a beer so they are totes opposites, you guys.
The music start and this guy loves to dance. He’s out there just swinging her around the dance floor like she’s a rag doll. It’s pretty embarrassing.
The gross guy is all “they say you can tell from dancing how someone is when they’re “romantic.”” Um, butt out, gross guy. I would, however, love a sex scene where he’s tossing her around the bedroom and laughing like this.
She tells him that it’s not okay for him to get drunk at her office party and he gets super pissed and tells her this isn’t going to work for him and just leaves. He’s a delight! I can’t believe some lucky lady hasn’t snatched this guy up.
Joey calls his friend (who is working out late on a Friday night) and his friend tells him that he’s an idiot and should beg her for forgiveness. Why was he an idiot though? That scene made no sense.
He writes her an email where he talks about them both as characters and says Christmas is 6 days away- where the heck did all the other days go?! She’s charmed that he apologized. They meet for coffee and he orders two different coffees because his ordering two things is going to be his quirky thing he does.
She says that he needs to spend the 8 nights of Hannukah with her family and he’s all “IN A ROW??” and then in the next scene the radio DJ is saying Christmas is 2 days away. This movie was made in 2012- Hannukah would have been over by now. Does anyone making this movie even know a Jew? Did they just make this shit up?
Joey takes her to meet his sick grandma and she’s all “this must be Rosemary” but no, her name is Julie so that’s confusing for sick grandma. This old lady cries and says she’s going to make her grandson very happy and I could never lie to a dying old lady. Just watching this is hard for me. When it comes to old people, I am very delicate.
Joey- “Meeting you was my grandmother’s dying wish.” Julie- “Oh my god.” I think she just realized that she lied to a dying, old lady.
I have never had a parent try to set me up so I guess I don’t know Julie’s pain. They’re going to meet his parents now. They’re decorating the Christmas tree and she’s all “no thanks.”
They ask if she’s allergic to trees and she says she’s just Jewish. These people are all “ohhhhhh.”
They talk her into putting an ornament on so she does it and the ornament falls off and breaks and don’t worry, it’s just 116 years old and Joey’s mom holds herself together by crossing herself and pulling the non-Catholic away from the blessed tree.
Julie and his mom are cooking and his mom starts crying talking about grandma dying and how hard it is to lose your mom. Julie says she might have more time left and they bond. Don’t worry, the mom does mention her breaking an irreplaceable family heirloom but no big deal. Ahhh, mom guilt. There is nothing quite like it.
They’re eating dinner and Julie tells them that she’s a theater critic. That fancy office was supposed to be a theater critic office?! Sure. His dad is all “it must be nice to have a steady job and not just jump around.” Joey says he’s freelance but that he works steady, he’s in advertising. They’re all “whatever happened to stability??” I’m glad my family lays off on this front too- my family is pretty cool.
The doorbell rings and… GRANDMA IS AT THE DOOR! Mom passes out.
Grandma says that she got better and so she got dressed up and got into a cab and came over because she wants to spend Christmas with her family as usual. Mom immediately says it must be Julie! Julie has magical powers!
Mom pulls Joey aside and says “your Julie’s got powers, she brought Grandma back to life! If you break up with her, it’ll kill grandma.” NO PRESSURE.
Grandma is all “come over here, under the mistletoe and give Julie a big ol’ holiday kiss!!” and then the whole family watches them kiss. That’s weird, right?
He apologizes for the kiss but then says she’s a great kisser so I don’t think he’s actually sorry. Julie asks if he knows that she had nothing to do with his grandma getting better- he says it’s his mom she has to convince and that they can never break up now. She laughs… not realizing he might be serious.
They’re saying Christmas eve is the first night of Hannukah! Hahahahhaa, it was like early December that year. Oh, and Julie lied to her parents and said that Joey Lawrence is Jewish. Hahahhahahaha, this Tony Danza sounding guy will never fool anyone.
Julie’s mom is Marilu Henner and I just realized it. Mom is all “it’s so great that you could be here and not with your family on the first night of Hannukah” and he’s all “don’t worry, we’re meeting them later for mass.” He’s great at pretending to be Jewish! They somehow play that off.
Then her sister is there with her rabbi husband who asks Joey what his last name is and he says “Marino…witz!” There, now the name is Jewish. Holy crap, this movie.
They light the candle and do the prayer and Joey has no idea what’s happening. Her family is dumb if they really think he’s Jewish. He even says “amen!” at the end of the prayer.
They should have seen enough movies like this and known not to lie too much just in case they end up falling in real love later. Duh.
Now they’re at mass. Their schedule seems so exhausting. Also, they both have families in NYC not far from their own apartments. That is pretty friggin unheard of.
Julie sings in church like it’s no big thing and she doesn’t say “MAZEL TOV!” at the end or anything so Joey could learn a thing or two from her.
After mass his family is all “you guys should stay over so we can open gifts in the morning.” They don’t have any gifts with them so they’re not giving his family anything? His mom gives her a nightgown and puts them in his childhood bedroom. He’s so uncomfortable. They decide that she’ll take the bed and he’ll take the floor. His bedroom (that has been empty of people for 20 years) has it’s own bathroom! His parents have a palace!
She talks about how he lights up around his grandma. He says that his grandma has always been his favorite and yes, grandmas are the best. His mom was a nutcase when he was young and would disappear for days sometimes and they’d never ask where she’d been but his grandma would take care of them. One time his mom left on Christmas. That’s really sad.
She tells him that last New Year’s Eve she and her fiance broke up. He agrees that sounds rough. She doesn’t say what happened… it’s very vague. He tells her that it was a blessing in disguise and she’s all “oh yeah, how??” and he says that he was dumb to let her get away because women like her are rare. Awww, Joey is really sweet tonight. I have a hunch these two might actually fall in love. SPOILER ALERT.
His family has gifts for her even though they brought nothing. It’s a framed photo of them kissing from like two days ago! Hahahahahahhaha, that’s such a weird gift. Also, that is some quick photo printing and framing. Grandma says that she doesn’t understand what they’re waiting for- just get married already! They’re not getting any younger. As far as she knows they’ve been dating for three weeks. She thinks that’s too long to date before marriage? Really?
She has to go see a play for work (on Christmas night? Great writing here) and it’s called “Socks in the City” and he says it is the worst thing he’s ever seen in his life.
She says you can’t be that mean when you’re a critic, she has to consider the feelings of everyone she’s writing about. Um, is that the responsibility of the critic? She sounds like a terrible critic.
He asks if she would be interested in actually kissing him and she kisses him so I guess yes.
She writes a bad review of Socks in the City and holy crap, I wish we could have seen just 1 minute of it because the name makes me think of a group of socks tired of dating in New York and I’d love to see that live on stage. “Oh sweetie, I don’t DO argyle.” Sighhhh, someone please make this happen.
Her workmates are so shocked that she finally wrote a bad review that they give her a round of applause. I can’t believe she has kept her job this long.
She has written down a prayer for him to memorize and that’s better than just throwing him into Hannukah with no warning.
Uh oh, his mom calls her mom and invites her family over for dinner. Uh oh, this Jewish lie is coming to a head.
He tells his parents that he’s converting to Judaism so they have to take down all their decorations. He thinks this will anger them but his parents are silent but then all “THIS IS GREAT NEWS!” because it means he must really love Julie. (in that photo I can see what Teresa is saying about his face work)
They dance a jig about how they’re going to be going to a wedding soon. If I married a guy I knew for 3 weeks my dad would probably pull me aside and tell me that I’m making a terrible decision. Movie parents are all marriage-obsessed nutcases.
They get a drink and discuss this impending dinner. They’re going to “play it by ear” regarding her parents wondering why his parents aren’t Jewish.
He asks if they’re really going to break up in a few days and she says that’s the plan, right? He’s not looking for that anymore. He gives her a big movie kiss with all the hands everywhere. He flags a cab and they RUN INTO IT so are they running home to make out? What’s happening?
The Hannukah dinner at his parent’s house is covered in Hannukah decorations and his parents are even wearing yarmulkes. It’s nuts. They totally decorated like they do for Christmas so there are menorahs everywhere and they’re all lit up. They even covered the christmas tree in dreidls. It’s hilariously wrong. Her parents are pretty horrified and confused.
He asks his mom what’s going on and she says they’re trying to make a good impression for him so that he can marry Julie. I guess that’s sweet, if misguided.
Julie says that somehow her parents are having a blast and seem to believe that his family is Jewish. They all dance and eat matzoh balls.
Grandma is cutting a rug when, BAM, she collapses and they call an ambulance. They all sit in the hospital saying it’s their fault for dancing and stuff.
Her mom consoles his mom and says that she was just trying to throw a great Hannukah dinner because Joey is converting. Julie’s mom is a bit surprised but not horrified or anything.
Joey takes this opportunity to tell everyone about their plan and how they’ve been lying about everything. He did it all for grandma. His family thinks that’s kind of sweet, but also shitty. She tells her mom she did it so she wouldn’t set her up with every guy she ever dated in the past. Her mom says that she just didn’t want her to be alone on New Year’s after last year being so awful. That’s actually very nice of her mom, if also misguided. She tells her mom that she never told her but that she left Ben last year because she realized she didn’t want to marry him and ended things. I guess she told everyone that he dumped her, though I’m not sure why.
This news really pisses off Joey because he tells everyone they’re not even dating, that they’re just using each other. Julie storms out.
He follows her and says that he was just feeling bad for her because he thought she got dumped by her fiance but this changes everything. If she just dumped Ben she could just dump him one day and he’s not down for that. What?! That is some real circular logic that makes no actual sense. I’ve also broken up with people in the past, I guess Chris better watch out because I COULD DO IT AGAIN. Just like that. That’s how it works.
Joey’s boss asks if he’s going to stay on full time and he’s all “Nope, I need my wings, man.” Everyone in this movie works on all the holidays and everything is topsy turvy (it’s New Year’s Eve at night right now). Julie is also at work.
Joey goes to take his grandma flowers and the whole family is there already. Grandma says he doesn’t have to make up a girlfriend just for her. Mom asks why he isn’t going to try to make it work with Julie and Joey is all “as long as we’re asking questions, where did you go when we were kids?” His sister agrees that she’d like to know too. Mom says that sometimes she would get overwhelmed and would just take a break so that she wouldn’t leave for good. Clearly they’re painting this like her leaving for a day or two scarred him for life and is why he hates committing to anything.
Mom says she couldn’t have gotten through any of it without their father. Dad is all “when you love someone, you hang in there, even if it’s tough at times, otherwise you got nothing.” That’s a better lesson than most of these movies ever teach.
Gross guy at Julie’s work tells her to save him a midnight kiss and he’s still the worst.
Joey goes back to work. It’s still night. It’s the neverending night! He was working at night, went all the way to Queens to see grandma and came back to work and it’s all been night. I get that the sun goes down early in winter but seriously. Joey goes to tell his boss that he wants the full time position and his boss introduces him to the guy who already accepted the job. Wah-wahhhhh.
Man, he should have talked to his mom sooner so his issues could have been cleared up so simply. Tah-dah! He’s not afraid of commitment anymore.
Julie is at home and that framed photo of them kissing is still on her shelf.
Julie is out on New Year’s with that podiatrist and he’s staring at her shoes (GROSS, but the shoes are cute) and she’s all eye rolling at him.
Joey’s boss calls him and says that he changed his mind and gave the job back to him and will never clip his wings. The poor guy who got offered a great job on New Year’s Eve and came into a meeting at night just got cut loose with no warning.
Julie lies and says she has a migraine to get out of her date and then is honest and just says she doesn’t like him and I feel bad for the boring podiatrist. He says he only came because he didn’t want to be alone. This scene was depressing.
Julie gets a cab. Joey is drinking alone at his friend’s New Year’s party. He’s sad I guess because he leaves despite his friend telling him he could have two women if he stays. Ummmm, what?
His mom calls and I assume it’s bad news about grandma because he runs through NYC crowds to get the subway to get to the hospital.
Julie gets to the office party and it’s lamesville.
Joey gets to the hospital and grandma is okay again. They’re all relieved. Grandma says she has more to see, like him marrying that sweet Julie. He says that’s not happening and she says she knows she saw something. Joey takes off. His mom says she had a vision of him on a horse and he’s all “oh ma, you’re so dumb” or that’s what his face says.
Dummy gets a cab and just sits, unmoving. Cabs on New Year’s are pointless. Has he learned nothing from When Harry Met Sally??
The gross guy at work is still bugging Julie. She finally just tells him that she’s never going to date him and to move on. Honesty is her thing this evening. Also, breaking hearts.
Julie gets into a cab and Joey grabs a police horse to chase her down, as you do. How does this guy from Queens even know how to mount a horse? Puhhhh-lease.
He chases down her cab and she sees him out the back window. The horse apparently tosses him off but they cut to him on the ground and don’t show the actual falling. What I imagine was hilarious falling. A cop chases him down and is all “WHERE WERE YOU GOING WITH MY HORSE?!?” and doesn’t arrest him or anything.
He says he needed to catch up with Julie but there were no cabs and the cop is so touched that he just wishes him happy new year. Chris just got home from work and this whole scene infuriated him. He also thinks 911 is a joke though.
Joey tells Julie that she’s the first girl he has wanted to spend the whole holiday with. This is the longest night in history apparently because it’s still going on. They kiss and all these strangers applaud (?). Finally, it’s midnight.
Over the Time’s Square confetti it says they got married next New Year’s Eve by a priest and a rabbi and grandma was there to dance the hora. Also, that Julie’s mom is starting a Jewish mother dating site.
I kind of want to make one of these movies but have no one fall in love. TWIST! Just have them go back to being happily single in the new year.
The end. Happy 2014, everyone!